Review Summary: A blatant cash grab and worthless release
When most people put up money to buy a B-sides album, they expect a few things. First and foremost, they expect to hear songs that were left off previous albums. Granted, in the present day, deluxe editions of albums tend to have most of those songs, as record companies are trying to use anything and everything they have to get a person to actually buy a record. The Gaslight Anthem have failed to follow through with that most basic principle of a B-sides album. There is only one original song on B-Sides
, that being “She Loves You”, which was previously released on the deluxe edition of “American Slang”. “She Loves You” is a fantastic and heart-wrenching song, showing The Gaslight Anthem at their sincere best. It also happens to be the only song worth hearing on this pointless release. There are five acoustic versions of Gaslight songs, during which Brian Fallon mostly seems either bored or entirely out of his range. The worst offender is “The 59 Sound”, in which Fallon sounds almost like he is just telling someone the lyrics at a bar, not putting much inflection or passion into the song.
The other half of the album is covers. The Pearl Jam cover, “State Of Love And Trust”, is the most confusing, since it is a live recording where Fallon sounds completely burnt out vocally. “Songs For Teenagers” is probably the best cover here, being an acoustic adaptation of the Fake Problems cut. Another thing that pops up pretty consistently is that Gaslight changes the lyrics to the songs they're covering in order to avoid any mention of drugs or sex, which seems unnecessary and curious. Gaslight is known for being earnest and sincere (to a fault in the eyes of many), so to change the honest lyrics of other bands seems cheap. These guys aren’t the Jonas Brothers, most of their fans are adults and can handle the word “drugs” or the phrase “let’s get it on”.
is one of the more worthless releases in recent memory, as all the songs have either been released previously or are just flat out worse versions of songs by other bands. This was released by SideOneDummy, no doubt to squeeze a little extra money from The Gaslight Anthem, who have since moved on to Mercury Records. Other than “She Loves You”, the entire album can be skipped. Few cash grabs have felt more cheap and insincere, especially when attached to the name of a band known for overbearing sincerity. Avoid this release unless there is a need to own every song ever performed by Gaslight, even half-assed ones.